When it comes to buying new technologies, there is any number of questions you need to ask. When it comes to buying a new talent acquisition technology, the list grows even longer. You have people considerations, process factors and likely some existing product to contend with – and that’s before you even start to think about pricing. But fear not, there’s a simple way of going about the selection that will keep you calm and ensure the right results. Here’s how to get going:
1. Get organized
– First things first. You need to define your goal. Like really define it. Sure you might think you need a new ATS but why? What’s the problem with your existing solution? What are you trying to solve? Without this level of insight, you risk ending up with a technology that’s no better than what you have currently. So put pen to paper and describe your objective, along with what you’re hoping to achieve post-implementation. It always helps to have a project plan to refer back to in the weeks and months to come.
2. Differentiating features
– Many vendors inside the space tout the same functions to the point that some even use the same language as their competitors. Frustrating but true, this is made even more challenging by slick websites with little to no substantive content. As you start to sit through demos and talk with reps, keep an eye out for what’s actually different, how and why. Dig deep into the product, find out how it’s built and what’s on the roadmap. Going under the hood will help you identify who is legit and who is just talking the talk.
3. Ease of use
– There are more than a few clunky products on the market, especially when it comes to a few massive platforms. Even with ongoing updates, ease of use remains a huge factor for both recruiters and their candidates. No job seeker wants to parse their resume in after being asked to connect their LinkedIn profile. That’s madness. Take your top picks for a test drive and see how it feels to use the technology as a recruiter, hiring manager, and candidate. Don’t forget to learn about integrations too. You want a full 360-degree view before making any decisions.
4. Safety and security
– In the age of GDPR and data privacy laws, this one is a must. You already know the type of information you’re collecting, but how is the vendor going to store it? What kind of encryption do they use? What’s their backup or contingency plan in case of an outage? How do they dispose of data? Cybersecurity is no laughing matter, especially when you’re the receiving end of a breach. And after seeing the damage done by recent attacks, you need to be better safe than sorry – especially when it comes to applications and employment files.
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5. Defining success
– What does hiring success mean to the vendor and their existing customers? They’re probably playing up some advanced data and analytics, but what does that mean for your needs? You need concrete details about the product is really going to do once it’s in place, and how you’ll be able to track that progress. We’re talking clear, consistent reports that supplement your efforts without adding any more to your plate. Let the solution do the analysis, while you tackle the more strategic work.
6. Look beyond
– From start to finish, you need a vendor who will partner with you and provide the tools, resources and help needed to get you up and running. Implementations are never easy, and chances are you’ll encounter an issue or two along the way. As you review technologies, make sure to learn about the vendor’s ability to tailor and customize the product, as well as the accessibility of their support team, training options, potential use cases and any available client testimonials (if not, find practitioners who use them). You need to dig into the details and take a meta-view at the same time.
Selecting talent acquisition technology is about what’s in it for you and your organization. By putting your needs first, above all else, you’re setting the stage and letting solution providers know where you stand. Don’t kowtow to the sales pitch. You already know what’s coming. Go in prepared to discuss the nitty-gritty, with a list of questions, ranked and filed according to priority. Tech innovation is moving at a rapid pace, but whatever you choose, will likely stay with you for the foreseeable future. Use those recruiting skills to recruit the right technology and left no ask to go unanswered.